Op-Ed: The Fall of Oxford and Cambridge is Undeniable

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Oxford and Cambridge have generally been considered among the best universities in the world. Is that a fair assessment? (Image Credit: Oxford University)

This article is written by an anonymous student studying in Britain.

During my brief and sometimes regrettable half-year interlude in England, nothing has angered me more than the arrogance of the once-great British. Their blind refusal to accept that the sun has set upon their colonial past and dreary future pervades every level of British society and is most exuded at Oxford and Cambridge. Time and time again, I hear students studying at these so-called prestigious universities dare to compare themselves to premier institutions like the Ivy League, MIT, or Stanford. With each conversation, I am reminded of why the world so often finds the British detestable: it is not merely that they believe they are worthy of great respect, but rather that they genuinely believe they deserve it more than their superiors across the pond.

So, in this article, let us establish the total collapse of the British beyond a doubt, finally ending the delusions of grander their centers of higher education cling to. I will not merely repeat the facts. Everyone who has taken the due diligence to inform themselves on this topic already knows that Ivy grads are paid three times more than Oxbridge grads, that Ivy grads have more promotions five years, ten years, and twenty years down the line, or that the facilities at American universities have far outstripped the UK in every way. Rather, I seek to fundamentally remove any ability for the British to use intangible qualities to falsely assert Oxbridge supremacy over the statistically superior Ivy League. Let’s begin to dismantle the feeble argument conjured by the denial of Oxbridge students.

Let’s address the most obvious point first. Which schools have the best education? Now I will concede that this is the one area I can reasonably see Oxbridge students justifying their superiority. It is indeed true that for certain subjects like Classics or Anglo-Norse Literature Studies, Oxford and Cambridge may exceed Harvard and MIT. This reflects the differing natures of the UK and the US. While the US looks forward, with universities like Stanford leading computer science and universities like MIT leading physics and engineering, the UK remains clinging to its past. They are incapable of competing with America in the fields that matter and so they don’t. They flee from the challenges of the modern world and bury their head deep into their tiny little island’s “classical” history and Anglo-Saxon literature. So yes, for some subjects, an Oxbridge education is better. But for subjects that matter? For subjects that will shape our world’s future? For subjects that will create industries worth trillions? Like it has been for over a century, the US is the place to go. 

Next, I will take down the most common – and laughable – critique lobbied against American institutions: attacking America. Too many times have I heard Oxbridge students say in response to the fact of their pitiful wages Ah! But America has gun crime! Ah! But Americans are obese! The stupidity of these arguments, I believe, is self-evident. Let us ignore for one moment the fact that UK knife crime has far exceeded American gun crime on a per capita and absolute level, let us ignore for one moment that the UK’s obesity rate is no different from the US (if not higher, due to the UK’s higher poverty rate and lower threshold of what counts as poverty) and ask: how does this argument make any sense? Those graduating from the Ivy Leagues represent the pinnacle of America, of the world, of what humanity can achieve. These are not the people who get shot in the ghettos or die from obesity in their 40s. No, these are world leaders, the titans of industry, those who will write the next chapter of mankind. I know I sound like a broken record, but it must be said again: on every metric, Ivy grads make more, succeed more, attain higher social status, and leave behind a larger impact than what any Oxbridge grad can dream of. It doesn’t matter that the UK threw together a somewhat functional national healthcare service. Ivy grads have the best healthcare in the world – private US healthcare – and are likely the ones developing the drugs that Westminster buys with its budget, which coincidentally, is subsided by the US military.

Finally, let us address the ultimate point that the British rely on, global university rankings. These rankings indeed place Oxford and Cambridge above many top US universities (Cambridge is still behind MIT, Harvard, and Stanford), but these rankings are a joke. One look and it’s clear: The University of Amsterdam is ranked 50 spots above Brown University and ETH Zurich is ranked above Princeton. There is a simple explanation for the absurdity of these rankings: they’re fake. If any Oxbridge student had done research and looked into what metrics are considered, they would have realized how stupid global rankings are. Factors like the percentage of students in a hall from different countries or the Doctorates-awarded-to-academic-staff ratio are weighted in the high single digits. Instead of weighting reputation, salary, or education, these rankings look at EDI and ESG metrics. They aren’t worthy of substantial respect. Do you remember that time EDI developed life-saving medicine like Harvard did or built, I don’t know, the internet like Stanford did? I sure can’t. So Oxbridge students, go ahead and claim the moral high ground and rankings with your higher levels of international diversity (half of which are achieved through accepting the children of African dictators and Russian Oligarchs whose blood money Britain is laundering). Still, your actions speak louder than your words. Your reliance on American technology, American entertainment, and the American economy and dollar, to list a few, prove the contradictions in your beliefs and your all-so-precious rankings.

The purpose of higher education is the pursuit of the truth. It’s time Oxbridge students remembered that. There is no shame in admitting that US universities have surpassed their UK counterparts. The US has already surpassed the UK (and the rest of the world) in technology, economics, finance, industry, politics, military capacity, diplomatic sway, power projection, and international standing. Education was never going to be the exception. Oxford and Cambridge have fallen, much like the empire that propped them up. Now is the American age. It will be Stanford that revolutionizes the digital age once more. It will be MIT that brings us to Mars. It will be Harvard grads who lead the free world. And that’s beautiful. 

Written by anonymous

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